I saw this book or a profile of Teju Cole on someone's tumblr and was already adding books to my online library account so I threw this one on there too. Just listen to Cole's author bio from the book:
"Teju Cole was raised in Nigeria and came to the United States in 1992. He is a writer, photographer and professional historian of early Netherlandish art. Open City is his first novel. He lives in New York City."
Sounds like a super, super interesting dude. Which I am sure he is. Because if reading part of this book taught me anything it is that this guy thinks a lot more than I do.
The novel follows a young man, Julius, who takes long walks in NYC to clear his mind from work as a physiologist and his recent break up.
I made it to about page 45 before I threw it down and just could not pick it back up. I wanted to like this book so badly, but it is just not meant to be. The main character is so, so smart and came off way too pretentious for me. Every where he went made him think of an aria from some obscure opera and the architecture of Atlantis from a woodcut in a rare volume of a book in Hindi that you, dear reader, are not smart enough to understand. Couldn't he just walk into a room and say to himself, "oh man I'm really glad they have salt and pepper kettle chips. Those are my fav."
Plus he referenced one of my literary nemeses, J. M. Coetzee. So odd were not in Cole's favor. Please note that I cannot stand Coetzee due to the fact that I once had to read and write a paper on The Life and Times Of Micheal K. which I hated.
So, alas, I will not be finishing this one. But don't take my word for it, this book got a lot of good reviews on Goodreads and frankly you might be smarter than me. By the way, here is my goodreads page if you just can't wait to see what I am reading.
Is it hard for anyone else to give up on a book once you have started? I usually can't put something down when I reach a quarter of the way through. But there are some notable exceptions, mainly Moby Dick, which I had one freaking chapter left and just did not read it out of spite. How far would you read before you have to finish?